Saturday, May 12, 2007

Jerry-Atrics 6

The March 12, 2007 match at Albany Rifle and Pistol club -- the "Mothers Day" match.
Stage 6: Emmit's Best (Click the link to see the Stage Procedures and design.)

The videos for this and all other stages in this match are available at Jerry the Geek's Video Shooting Gallery.

Mr. Mike McCarter is not only the Match Director but also is the designer of this 18-round Comstock stage, which includes 8 IPSC targets and 2 Pepper Poppers.

Shooter starts at the forward vision barrier, shoots through a low port and then backs up while engaging 3 IPSC targets. At the uprange edge of the large shooting box, 3 other IPSC targets may be engaged after moving to the other side of a fence which breaks the box into 2 lanes. Finally, having moved back to the downrange vision barrier, complete the stage while shooting through the other low port.

You can see the original YouTube video here.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Pistol Caliber Carbine Match - TCGC May 5

Tri-County Gun Club in Sherwood, Oregon, has lately been attempting to put on either a "Practical Shotgun" or a "Pistol Caliber Carbine" during most months. This month was a "Carbine" match on the first Saturday of May - Cinco de Mayo.

I had planned to shoot the match with my Mech Tech in .45acp caliber, but my Tasco Pro-Point I scope came up croppers the morning of the match with dead batteries. I had used it last month to show off to a co-worker, and neither of us had thought to turn the scope completely off when we were done. This is illustrative of the One Good Reason why battery-driven sights are Not Good.

When you really need them, they are invariably Toes Up.

I realized this at 7am on the morning of the match, and spent 2 hours driving 85 miles because I stopped at every convenience store on the way looking for a place which stocked these very different batteries. I didn't find one -- ONE -- on the trip.

What the heck, I decided to complete the trip so I could at least watch the match, maybe even get some pictures.

When I arrived at 9:30 am (a half-hour after the match was scheduled to start), I discovered that they were still setting up the six VERY challenging stages and nobody had started shooting yet.

I talked to The Hobo Brasser and explained my quandary. He replied: "I have plenty of ammunition, why don't you just use my gun?"

I accepted his generous offer before he had a chance to change his mind, and signed up for the match (and paid my $17 fee ... which included a 'tear-down' charge) immediately.

The 'tear-down' charge deserves comment.

In the Columbia-Cascade (CCS) Section of USPSA, match fees typically run about $15. Recently, the three clubs (ARPC, Dundee and TCGC) have established crews to tear down the stages and put away the targets and props. They charge an extra (not optional) two dollars to the match fees, adn when you're done shooting ... you can go home!
As it turned out, only about a dozen shooters showed up for THIS match, so the tear-down crew only shared $24 for their half-hour extra labor. But it encourages shooters to come out to the NEXT match, when they know that they don't have to work after the match has finished.

(Note that the last match in CCS, which was a Classifier match at Dundee, there were 70 shooters. This provided $140 to be shared among the two people who volunteered to tear down the stages. Not bad wages for a half-hour's work.)

The idea of a Pistol-caliber Carbine Match is that it provides a venue where you can use a notational rifle to shoot what is essentially an IPSC match, which is in turn an excuse to buy another gun.

Works for me.

I bought the Mech Tech last year just so I could shoot these matches. But I didn't count on the gun being hors de Combat in the actual event, which leads me back to the borrowing of Hobo's Beretta "Storm" CX4 9mm carbine.

The Beretta is currently available in 9mm, and is (supposedly) also available in several other calibers as well.
To my surprise, the 9mm version using commercially loaded ammunition is entirely adequate to knock down plates and pepper poppers at 30 meters distance, and is still accurate at 50 meters distance.

Several of the people in my squad were using AR15 variants in 9mm, and although they had to modify their hi-cap (30+ round) magazines to fit the magazine well, they found that their carbines functioned reliably and got accurate hits at the distances involved in the stages designed by Gary "The Tool Man".

Note that Gary has been MD of several matches of this type in the past six months, and they are typified by high-round-count and accuracy-intensive designs. As an example, he puts a lot of bowling pins on the stages, at sometimes extreme distances. He also includes 4" square plates at distances out to 50 meters. This is an extreme challenge, and most of the competitors opted to use the electronic dot-sights to provide quick acquisition of tiny targets at extreme ranges.

Of the many minor events which (as is typical of IPSC matches) made the day interesting even for knowledgeable spectators, I note that Norm the Ungrateful quit after 3 stages. His own Beretta Storm was not retaining magazines reliably. The Hobo brasser faced the same challenge, but he had already learned from David (no nickname) that there was a 'fix' for this design oversight. The specifications for this are available at a previous post, here.

Ultimately, the story is that I not only got to shoot the match, but I now hunger for a 9mm Beretta 'Storm' of my own. The carbine is quick, accurate, reliable and user friendly.

It's also Star Wars sexy.

To illustrate what the Beretta "Storm" (CX4) can do in the hands of a Fat Old Man (in which category I definately claim membership), I offer this video of The Hobo Brasser shooting it in the first stage of the day:

This makes more sense when you realize that the Theme of the match was "Miami Vice", the 1980's Television show.

Guest Blog: CX4 Beretta Storm Magazine Adaption

Guest Blogger: The Hobo Brasser
(Click on the Image for link to review of the Beretta CX4 Storm Carbine.)

It appears by disassembly and close examination, that Beretta may have forgotten a small bend in the magazine catch spring. The hole that the short end of the spring goes into is actually molded on an angle, and it appears that they forgot to bend the spring in the same approximate angle, and is not correctly seating into the hole.

I made a slight adjustment bend to the spring, and everything is working perfectly, and now has a very strong and smooth button, and NO slop and the mag is now being held properly. This will now let the catch properly grab the magazine for a sure grip.

When everyone's mag catch is not fully catching, the mags slip out and end up bending the catch.

While you have everything disassembled, slide out the little metal catch and turn it around for a NEW START.

Who Needs To do this?
Anyone who feels any lateral slop in their magazine catch button. Even if your magazines are staying in the gun at this time, eventually (soon) you may experience the dropping problem.

Disassembly pictures can be found at in the Gallery section.


Geek Visual Additions, from the cited webpage:

Here's how the spring can be seen in the assembled state.

Here's how it looks in the removed magazine release

Click on the images for a close-up view.